My Cricket Gap Year

Words Tom Cullen

Sport Lived helped to develop both my character and my cricket. I was always set on travelling to Australia during my gap year, but the idea of playing cricket there on my year out was perfect for me.

I arrived in Melbourne jet lagged and a little stunned at the idea of living abroad but also hopeful and optimistic. After meeting my flatmates for the next six months I was extremely excited; a group of cricketers, rowers and swimmers all looking to have fun whilst playing the sport they love in Australia.

I was paired with Brighton Cricket Club, a competitive club who play both one and two day cricket. A little nervy, two of my flatmates and I headed to training for the first time. Our nerves were unnecessary as we were welcomed with open arms from the outset. After our initial session we settled in for the season; weekly matches and training twice a week. On Tuesdays a group would head to the Beachside pub after training and on Thursdays a selection meal at the club would take place. These were perfect opportunities to enjoy the Aussie culture and embrace life in Melbourne.

Having unsuccessfully applied for a number of jobs before arriving in Melbourne, it didn't take me long to find work once I landed in Australia. Through contacts at my cricket club, I found sufficient work to cover my day to day living costs whilst still having plenty of time to enjoy myself. Now that we were all settled and had jobs, we took the opportunity to explore Melbourne. Our accommodation was in the perfect location to do this; close to the city, nightlife and entertainment and crucially the beach.

There are so many places to go and things to do in Melbourne and we still had much left to explore after 6 months. Sport is clearly at the heart of the city and it’s great Sport Lived provided tickets to events such as the Melbourne Cup Horse Racing, Boxing Day Test Match and AFL games at the MCG. We could also play sport and keep active really easily throughout our programme as we had tennis courts, a great gym, a golf course and a swimming pool within a 10-minute walk of our apartments.

With plenty to do, the six months flew by and the regular trips and activities that were organised were great fun and brought the group closer together such as seeing the penguins at Philip Island, surfing lessons at Ocean Grove Beach and travelling along the Great Ocean Road.

The Sport Lived programme was great preparation for university as I had to settle in a new country and live independently for 6 months. I feel grateful to have had the chance to play cricket in Australia during my gap year and I look forward to returning to Melbourne in the future to explore the city even further.

Related articles

Rowing in Oz!

Learn more about Molly's 6-month rowing gap year in Australia.

Living the Dream

Jess Powell shares highlights of her 6 month netball programme in Australia

Handpicked clubs. Exceptional programmes.
Discover your unique sporting adventure.